Canadian Stories

Paul Chevré

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Paul ChevrePaul Chevré was a French sculptor who boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a first class passenger. He was on his way to Canada to supervise the instillation of his monument to Honoré Mercier, as well as attend the unveiling of his bust of Sir Wilfrid Laurier at the grand opening of the Chateau Laurier Hotel. Charles Melville Hays had commissioned the bust for his hotel and Chevré was part of the Hays entourage. Chevré received many more commissions in Canada than in France. In Canada he's responsible for monuments to Samuel de Champlain, Honoré Mercier and François-Xavier Garneau in Quebec City. He also sculpted La France in front of the Union Francaise in Montreal and Sacré-Coeur in front of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire church in Lévis, Quebec.

Paul Chevré was on the first life boat that left the Titanic. He was lucky enough to find himself on the side of the ship where men were allowed to board. He survived the sinking, but he died in less than two years from the trauma of the experience and the shame he felt as one of the relatively few men who survived. His father, who was also a famous sculptor, finished the Sacré-Coeur that his son had been commissioned to create for the Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire Church in Lévis, Quebec. It is said that he carved his son's features onto the face of Christ.

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